Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What My Grandmother Taught Me About Voting

My Grandparents with five of their children
My Grandmother took her right to vote seriously and perhaps that was because she was born in 1918 before women could legally vote in this country.

She and my grandfather ran a small restaurant. Grandmother never participated in the political jargon, but she listened. She formed her own opinion.

When I married, she cautioned me about politics and marriage. It seems one of the worst arguments she and my grandfather had was over politics. He told her how she should vote. They went to the polls. She cast her vote based on her own opinion rather than his. Later when he asked, she told him the truth and he was upset with her for days.

"From then on when Isham (my grandfather) and I voted, I listened to what he said and then most times I cancelled his vote with my own," she said laughing. Political discussions only strengthen marriages if you have the same opinion.

My Grandmother also lived two blocks from the church where ballots were cast. She lived on the corner and candidates often would put signs at the edge of her yard. If she didn't like them or agree with them. She would pull them up and leave them on the ground. One candidate watched her do this and told her of his first amendment right. She countered with the fact that she had the same right and it was her property. He put his sign up across the street.

When I turned 18, Grandmother encouraged me to register to vote. I did and I have voted in every Presidential election. Voting is just one of the many legacies she has left with me.

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